Poems, Stories, and Memories for Ramadan


Childhood Memories of Ramadan,” Hamdy al-Gazzar. The shift in Ramadan lanterns from the hand-crafted beauties of the past to the imported, battery-operated types (that play high-pitched music and have flashing electric lights) is a popular topic for Ramadan stories.  Trans. Nour Abdelghani. Photo above by Zeinab Mohamed. I don’t know why the caption feature won’t work.

Ramadan Blues” – by Wajahat Ali


“FIRST NIGHT OF RAMADAN”: A Poem by Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore Abdal-Hayy Moore has a whole collection of Ramadan poems, some quite luscious in their description of foods.

Poetry Foundation has put together a section for Ramadan. A few of their poems, with commentary:

Prayer Rug” by Agha Shahid Ali: Ali, both a Kashmiri Muslim and U.S. National Book Award finalist, depicts ordinary activities in the intervals between salāh, the five-times-daily ritual prayer central to both Sunni and Shi’a Islam.

In Jerusalem” by Mahmoud Darwish: Palestinian exile Darwish’s speaker willingly loses his sense of individuality, time, and even gravity within the ancient walls of Jerusalem as he experiences the power of the city, one of the holiest for Muslims, Jews, and Christians.

Different Ways to Pray” by Naomi Shihab Nye: Nye, who grew up in San Antonio and Jerusalem, sketches vignettes of the praying methods of Muslim shepherds, embroiderers, and pilgrims in the title poem from her first book.

Many Scientists Convert to Islam” by Nomi Stone: In a meditation on faith and communication, Stone gives an account of a non-Muslim’s attempt to observe Ramadan while living within a traditional Jewish community in Tunisia.


Dialogue with Naguib Mahfouz: A Taste of Ramadan

Dialogue with Naguib Mahfouz: Ramadan Symphony

Ramadan and Reading: From Naguib Mahfouz